Rachel Morgan is shunned by her fellow witches, trapped in a reluctant student/teacher relationship with a demon who nearly killed her on numerous occasions, and still reeling from the death of her boyfriend. Overall, it’s not been a good year for her, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better. The coven of moral and ethical standards wants to neutralize her ability to do magic and breed. Trent wants her in his back pocket. Al just wants her. None of this matters, though, if Rachel can’t come to terms with who and what she is.
Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison is the reason I read Urban Fantasy. The world building is solid, the character development believable, and the plot riveting. This series is in no way a romance, but each romantic entanglement affects the storyline. Rachel lives and dies by her emotions, so it stands to reason that the ebb and flow of her love life would affect the goings-on in the Hollows.
I present to you the many loves of Rachel Mariana Morgan:
Jenks – Though their love is, and always will be, fraternal, he plays a huge role in her life. Jenks is more than pixie back-up; he’s a friend, and he’s willing to dust anyone who crosses Rachel or Ivy. His love for his family is heart-warming, and we get to see his inner warrior emerge when his garden is attacked.
Ivy – The pent-up sexual tension between Rachel and Ivy is mostly absent in this one, but the fierce protectiveness is alive and well. I seriously think Ivy would sacrifice her life for Rachel, and not because of the blood bond or any small hope Ivy might have of a relationship. Their friendship is simply that strong.
Al – We see a LOT of Al…and I don’t just mean screen time, if you get my meaning. If you had any questions as to what his frock might be hiding, you must wait no more! The (not-so) friendly demon has always been one of my favorite characters. His tenacious attempts to possess Rachel have been scary, bloody, and hilarious. Underneath the fire and brimstone, I sensed a kinder, gentler Al waiting to get out. Then I realized it was probably some poor soul Al killed. He and Rachel may have a truce, and there are signs spattered throughout Black Magic Sanction that he could be a powerful ally, but I get the feeling Big Bad Al isn’t done deceiving. He has respect for Rachel, true, and I think he has a bit of a crush, but if push comes to shove, Al cares about Al.
Trent – I don’t care what you say, I love the wicked elf. Love him. And not just for his good looks or mesmerizing voice. Out of everyone in the Hollows world, he knows what he wants and he isn’t afraid to do what’s necessary to get it. Though I would jump for joy if he and Rachel ever solidified a relationship, I don’t think it’s meant to be. They could be great, but Trent cares more about his species than love.
Nick – I would like to see Nick die a slow and painful death. He may have a few more acts of heroism up his sleeve, but I don’t care. He’s a rat and he deserves a rat’s death.
Pierce – The jury is still out on Pierce, mainly because of what the leprechaun said (and no, I’m not going to tell you what that is). I have no doubt in my mind that he cares for Rachel, but sometimes, that isn’t enough.
The events in Black Magic Sanction have made me more proud of Rachel Morgan than I ever thought possible. She has smut covering her aura and she’s training with a demon, but she’s finally figuring life out. Being able to watch her grow as a character has been a true honor.
- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Eos (February 23, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061138037
- ISBN-13: 978-0061138034
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Books in the Hollows series in the order they should be read:
Dead Witch Walking
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
Every Which Way But Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For a Few Demons More
The Outlaw Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse
Black Magic Sanction